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I've been asked and accepted the opportunity to write full time for SBNation's newest Auburn website: <a href="http://collegeandmagnolia.com/">CollegeAndMagnolia.com</a>&nbsp;so from here on all of my webposting will be handled over there.<br /><br />I've truly enjoyed having my own little personal corner of the internet that some people enjoyed since February of 2009. Having over 100,000 pageviews is something I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams. People (surprisingly to me) enjoyed what I was writing. I enjoyed writing it. That's why I'm still going to write but now it will be in a location where more people can see it and interact with it and ultimately (and hopefully) learn more about Auburn baseball.<br /><br />Why the change? Well, honestly, blogging for SBNation will allow me better interaction and a broader audience. That broader audience will make more dedicated to blogging on a&nbsp;consistent&nbsp;basis.<br /><br />So what happens to this domain? Where will AUPPL.com go? I'm not sure. My brother purchased this domain as a Christmas present to me a couple of years ago and ultimately it will be his choice. I suppose I can keep this up and running (as low maintenance as it is) and have it serve as a bit of an archive for my old stuff.<br /><br />I have a few thank yous to get out of the way. First, thanks to Jerry Hinnen, formerly of the Joe Cribbs Carwash, who actually kickstarted the idea of this blog. He was looking for someone to cover Auburn baseball and I jumped at the chance. I haven't looked back since. Thanks to my friends, the ones who know me as KK or Cheese or just Kevin and who read the blog and have shared their personal enjoyment of it with me. Hearing your personal friends say, "Hey, I really like what you're doing over here." means more than you can imagine. &nbsp;Finally, thank you for reading. It's hearing feedback from fans, from player's families, and from anyone that made me realize that this was something that was actually worthwhile and needed.<br /><br />Now what happens? Well it's pretty simple. Just bookmark <a href="http://collegeandmagnolia.com/">CollegeAndMagnolia.com</a>&nbsp;and you'll still get everything you would have gotten over here. Change your RSS Feeds as well. I'll have a little tab where you can easily find my stuff. Follow me on <a href="https://twitter.com/AUPPL">Twitter </a>and you can still <a href="mailto:plainsmanparkinglot@gmail.com">email me</a>: PlainsmanParkingLot@gmail.com<br /><br />Once again: Thank You and War Eagle.kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-18819040583676560502012-07-23T09:10:00.005-07:002012-07-23T09:10:43.730-07:00Today in Stupid Reaction TheaterYou know what two events today are completely unrelated? Penn State Sanctions &amp;; Auburn. Penn State&nbsp;receiving sanctions from the NCAA doesn't have any bearing on Auburn, Cam Newton, or other parties involved from 2011. Don't let Twitter know that. Here's a sampling of what I was originally going to entitle: Today in ButtHurt Theatre:<br /><br /><br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">FREEH NEEDS TO REINVESTIGATE CAM NEWTON. NOW.<br />— Will Goodwin (@willGOOD_WIN) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T15:27:57+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/willGOOD_WIN/status/227424820348993536">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">why couldn't have Sandusky coached at Auburn??<a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523damn">#damn</a><br />— Gary Cinello (@GaryCinello) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T02:32:30+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/GaryCinello/status/227229673132785664">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Damn NCAA..Let's not do anything to cam newton or auburn for something that ACTUALLY affected the sport<br />— thisIsTheLife (@iMpUffYmAnE) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T15:08:03+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/iMpUffYmAnE/status/227419812501000192">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">When are the NCAA sanctions coming down against the NCAA for not doing a thing while Auburn paid $250K for Newton,then won a national title?<br />— KYLE F GUNTHER (@GuntherKFAN) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:56:18+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/GuntherKFAN/status/227416857282478080">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> This is just four. Click below for more of this week's fascinating look into the sport's fan's psyche. <br /><br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br /><br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-in-reply-to="227408669594234880">@<a href="https://twitter.com/tholzerman">tholzerman</a> @<a href="https://twitter.com/edsbs">edsbs</a> I do concede that the org that allowed Cam Newton to remain eligible lacks moral authority on situations like this. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523NCAA">#NCAA</a><br />— The real dajerseyboy (@dajerseyboy) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:47:21+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/dajerseyboy/status/227414605561995264">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Also how did it take the NCAA a year and a half to resolve the Cam Newton case, one where they had jurisdiction, and this one took 5 days.<br />— CN III (@tnort93) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:42:39+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/tnort93/status/227413423477125122">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Also, no college is clean. Pitt hired a coach that beat women, auburn took cam newton whose father was shopping him. I could go on<br />— T. F.(@TFLA803) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:39:37+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/TFLA803/status/227412659019063296">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">“@<a href="https://twitter.com/_Rob_92">_Rob_92</a>: I hope Auburn knows they are next. The truth will come out about Cam Newton. I know they paid him. Lol” --&gt; Amen !<br />— Landry(@Lambo_800m) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:54:58+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/Lambo_800m/status/227401423225245697">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Meanwhile, somewhere in the south, Cam Newton's dad is offering up campus visits by his upcoming grandchildren to SEC coaches for $50k/each<br />— Geordie! Davis (@geordiedavis) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:51:55+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/geordiedavis/status/227400655839563777">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-in-reply-to="227398550353502208">@<a href="https://twitter.com/seahogs">seahogs</a> Feel like if Louis Freeh did the digging on Cam Newton, he would have found something.<br />— Drew Smith (@drewsmith23) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:44:42+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/drewsmith23/status/227398837696880640">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Still disappointed in NCAA punishment of PSU. Didn't expect much (see Cam Newton and 50 years of history), though....<br />— Spark Guy (@SparkyATS) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T15:42:00+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/SparkyATS/status/227428358802264065">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">penn state... the ncaa loves punishing after the fact... unless you are auburn or a sec school...<br />— lance matt (@lray618) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:01:28+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/lray618/status/227403056285888512">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-in-reply-to="227406098402013184">@<a href="https://twitter.com/kingcfb">kingcfb</a> You are out to Lunch Chuck if you don't get the Penn State penalties. That Auburn menatality/education showing<br />— 404Whore (@404Whore) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T14:16:26+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/404Whore/status/227406824012394496">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Ok why is the NCAA being so hard on penn state but USC and Ohio state and auburn. Teams that have won title in past ten years get off easy<br />— billy white (@wvbilly61) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:30:48+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/wvbilly61/status/227395339341152256">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">So now that we are through with the Penn State case..... Look for sanctions to be imposed on Auburn ol sorry ass next Lol! <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523RollTide">#RollTide</a> bitches<br />— Brandon Tolbert (@TheRealBTXXX) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:29:11+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBTXXX/status/227394932241997824">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-in-reply-to="227232143443652608">@<a href="https://twitter.com/TheAUCreed">TheAUCreed</a>aubies don't get to have an opinion on Penn state. Auburn is the dirtiest program in football.<br />— chris brewer (@chrisbrewer4) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T03:13:27+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/chrisbrewer4/status/227239976914530304">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Things you dont wanna b right now include : Homeless, owner of a car wit no AC, a Penn State football player, a Auburn fan, or Lebron Hater.<br />— MP Da Wizard (@MP205) <a data-datetime="2012-07-22T09:46:16+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/MP205/status/226976445820456960">July 22, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">@<a href="https://twitter.com/drake_70">drake_70</a> I'd rather take a shower at Penn State than go for auburn <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523DoTheSandusky">#DoTheSandusky</a><br />— Matt Black (@MattBlack_55) <a data-datetime="2012-07-19T20:38:29+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/MattBlack_55/status/226053417028689921">July 19, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">so penn state has to suffer the wrath of the ncaa while all the other programs, cam newton included, basically get away with murder..<br />— Stephanie Tibaldo (@Shmaldy) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:43:28+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/Shmaldy/status/227398526177529856">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">This is some bullshit Penn State gets four year bowl ban while Cam Newton is still getting paid for playing at auburn <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523ncaa">#ncaa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523screwedup">#screwedup</a><br />— Kyle Browne (@KyleBrowne17) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T13:33:49+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/KyleBrowne17/status/227396100691202048">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-in-reply-to="227413176214495233">@<a href="https://twitter.com/John_Infante">John_Infante</a> @<a href="https://twitter.com/billplaschke">billplaschke</a> Hell No!! When Emmett eliminate corruption and pay for play then. Emmett is corrupt also, ex:au and cam newton<br />— Sameep Contractor (@TheContractor12) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T15:12:51+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/TheContractor12/status/227421021395886081">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Got a case of the Monday's? This fact will help...Gene Chizik is 0-8 against UGA, LSU, Bama and Arkansas without Cam Newton. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523SEC">#SEC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523WDE">#WDE</a><br />— Cameron Pratt (@progressivebeat) <a data-datetime="2012-07-23T15:39:18+00:00" href="https://twitter.com/progressivebeat/status/227427677722783744">July 23, 2012</a></blockquote><script charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-63795387970468643462012-07-22T21:28:00.002-07:002012-07-22T21:28:56.653-07:00An Auburn fan has a Penn State Opinion<div class="tr_bq" style="font-family: inherit;"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> 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Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style><![endif]--> </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: left;"><span style="color: #0b5394; font-size: x-small;"><b><i><span>&nbsp;</span></i></b></span><span><span style="color: #0b5394; font-size: x-small;">AUPPL Note: First, apologies for 3 months in between posts. Sometimes (as it normally does), the real world just kicks your butt sometimes. Second, I originally thought about posting this over at my new home for most of my content, <a href="http://collegeandmagnolia.com/">CollegeAndMagnolia.com</a> but since it was not really Auburn related and is completely my opinion then I felt it best tucked away over here on my little solo corner of the internet. Finally, this is neither Auburn football or baseball related so if you were coming for either of those things, I'll try to have more content of that regard soon. If you'd like to hear one fan's opinion on the Penn State situation? Then by all means proceed. </span></span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><b><i><span>The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless .<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>-Voltaire</span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Twitter was abuzz yesterday and today about Penn State, the NCAA, and sanctions and fines as a result of the school’s role in the Sandusky sex scandal. Is it necessary or even applicable to punish the school now? Who exactly is being punished?</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">It’s hard for me to grasp.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">As the Penn State scandal unfold and watched people ask aloud, “When does the NCAA get involved?”’; most sports writers were in agreement that this was NOT an NCAA issue. Then the Freeh Report was published and the mood began to shift. An image was tarnished (justly or unjustly so is not for me to decide, nor is it my place), a school has been irreparably changed forever, and the common drum beat has changed to a steady march to the gallows for a University athletic program.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Let’s clear some up some key points. Points I will not disagree with: <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Child rape is wrong. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Jerry Sandusky is by all counts a monster and predator. Joe Paterno and others in the PSU administration took a course of action that was both felonious and morally reprehensible. These are all points that have been established, are concrete, and I am in complete agreement with.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">What I can’t agree with is the NCAA’s involvement.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Is this even an NCAA issue? Not at all. This is a criminal issue. It was tried in a criminal court; it was handled by our legal system; and for all intents and purposes, it is over. Any type of retribution or penalties or judgments will be awarded by courts and not by a toothless governing body headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The only reason this even involves the NCAA or that people are asking for justice by Mark Emmert and crew is because it involves sports. That’s it.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Or is it?</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">This doesn’t really involve sports. This is not a sports issue. It does not affect eligibility. It does not affect the well being of athletes. This involves children and terrible crimes against them. The counterargument is valid: That Jerry Sandusky’s future actions could have been prevented but were not because of, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">“a series of failures all the way up the university’s chain of command that it concluded were the result of an insular and complacent culture in which football <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/sports/ncaafootball/ncaa-plans-punitive-measures-against-penn-state-for-Sandusky.html">was revered.”</a></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">To me, it still holds true to an extent. While I don’t believe that barring Sandusky from the use of Penn State facilities would have prevented future rapes (a rapist will just find another place); I also don’t think that he should have had continued access to facilities. Nor should he have gone unreported for so long.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">However, this still is not an NCAA issue. The NCAA’s core purpose (as outlined by themselves) is:&nbsp;</span></div><br /><blockquote> to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is <a href="http://www.citadel.edu/root/ncaa_mission">paramount.</a></blockquote><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The NCAA governs competition. Sports. Games. It does not govern the schools day to day actions unless those actions directly or indirectly create an unfair and competitive playing field. There are other organizations that can handle applicable punishments. If the Freeh’s report was that the culture of Penn State was too entrenched or tightly wrapped around athletics then they should have lost their accreditation as an institution. Similarly to how Auburn University is accredited by SACS, Penn State is accredited by the <a href="http://www.psu.edu/vpaa/accreditation.htm">Middle States Commission on Higher Education</a>. Another avenue of punishment is through the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Universities">American Association of Universities</a>.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">However, to punish the University through either of these avenues reaffirms one of my core issues with the NCAA’s involvement. It punishes people who had no say, no action, no participation in the crimes involved. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">A buzzword bandied about is “The Lack of Institutional Control”. Explain to me how that applies to Penn State in this case. Before you do, read over the NCAA’s own <a href="http://compliance.pac-12.org/thetools/instctl.pdf">definition of LoIC</a>:</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><blockquote class="tr_bq">In determining whether there has been a lack of institutional control when a violation of NCAA rules has been found it is necessary to ascertain what formal institutional policies and procedures were in place at the time the violation of NCAA rules occurred and whether those policies and procedures, if adequate, were being monitored and enforced. It is important that policies and procedures be established so as to deter violations and not merely to discover their existence after they have taken place. In a case where proper procedures exist and are appropriately enforced, especially when they result in the prompt detection, investigation and reporting of the violations in question, there may be no lack of institutional control although the individual or individuals directly involved may be held responsible.</blockquote><br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">I’ve yet to see where Sandusky’s crimes and the inaction by administration violated any type in NCAA by-laws. Not to make light or be glib in the matter, but child rape does not exactly foster a competitive advantage for a school.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Again, the action of Sandusky and Paterno are not NCAA violations. Yes, one could argue (and I’ve heard this before) that if they covered this up, imagine what else they’ve covered up. That may be true. It may be that PSU was able to hide NCAA violations in the past. Before this event, PSU was looked at as one of the cleanest programs in the Association.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Even when Auburn was hit with the dreaded LoIC, it came as a result of Pat Dye having too much power as both Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. It also came after the NCAA found that Auburn had broken NCAA rules. Auburn was creating a competitive disadvantage. We were punished accordingly. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The NCAA will (and has argued) that Penn State appears in violation of By-Law 19.01.2 or the “Exemplary Conduct” <a href="https://web1.ncaa.org/LSDBi/exec/bylawSearch?adopted=0&amp;bylawSearchSubmit=viewHtml&amp;division=1&amp;keyValue=2023&amp;reportType=NotMain&amp;textTerms=&amp;titleTerms=">By-Law</a>, which states:&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><blockquote>“Individuals employed by or associated with member institutions for the administration, the conduct or the coaching of intercollegiate athletics are, in the final analysis, teachers of young people. Their responsibility is an affirmative one, and they must do more than avoid improper conduct or questionable acts. Their own moral values must be so certain and positive that those younger and more pliable will be influenced by a fine example. Much more is expected of them than of the less critically placed citizen.”<br /></blockquote><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The NCAA has stated that it used this violation in the past. That is true. In fact, it’s normally tacked on to any NCAA punishment as an additional violation. What I’ve never seen or heard of is violation of the By-Law being used as the strict basis of punishment.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">In their letter to PSU, the NCAA also detailed that the school could have possibly violated by-laws: 10.01.1, 11.1.1, and 11.1.2.1. By-law 10.01 goes into what the NCAA deems “unethical conduct”. However, each of these 10 issues listed as unethical by the NCAA (and their catch-all wording that these are not the end-all-be-all of unethical conduct, just a starting point) all have to deal with the eligibility of athletes. By-laws 11.1.1 and 11.1.2.1 make the same points but apply them to Coaches and other administrative personnel.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Again, all of these involve the eligibility of student athletes. The Penn State situation has not (to my knowledge) revealed anything that jeopardizes the eligibility of student athletes. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">To me, it seems like the NCAA heard everyone asking “Hey, what are you guys going to about Penn State”, looked around confused, re-read their own by-laws and said…”Hey, wait, maybe we can stick them on 19.01.2”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">I’m not saying that was happened at Penn State is not terrible and morally bankrupt. I’m simply arguing that it did not violate the core concept of the NCAA Rules. It did not create a competitive advantage and did not affect the eligibility of athletes. Again, that’s what the NCAA should police: College Sports. What it should not and cannot police are criminal activities. We already have systems in place to deliver punishments in those areas.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">When the <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/19635280">NCAA has gotten involved</a> it has involved the eligibility of athletes. Even when other criminal issues such as assault, point-shaving, gambling, and even murder have been involved, the NCAA was able to act because there were violations of eligibility.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Why should the NCAA not get involved or twist its own guidelines to enact punishment? Simply put, because doing so opens up Pandora’s Box and allows the NCAA to overstep their boundaries. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Even the NCAA knows that this is something completely out of their <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/19570190/ncaa-penn-state-now-needs-to-respond-regarding-possible-violations">wheelhouse:</a></span></div><br /><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">"Suffice to say that if there is information that points to an impropriety as it relates to the administration of the athletics program, that's valid [for the NCAA to investigate Penn State]," said association spokesman Bob Williams.<br /><br />"What people are kind of missing here, this is extraordinary in a bad way," an NCAA source said. "The Division I rulebook could never anticipate this ... Our rulebook is very specific in the way institiuions administer athletic programs … This is something different." </blockquote><br /> <div style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: inherit;">The Association has admitted (and I agree) that this is unprecedented. Obviously, they could never have foreseen this being an issue. However, that doesn’t mean they need to now make an NCAA issue because of the public <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-07-22/Penn-State-NCAA-sanctions/56413666/1">wanting action</a>.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><blockquote>Two former chairmen of the NCAA infractions committee as well as former NCAA investigators said last week that the Penn State case, while egregious in nature and scope, might not qualify as an enforcement issue and that the NCAA's involvement in such a case would be rare, if not unprecedented.<br /><br />"You might argue that by what Sandusky did do and by what Penn State did not do, that it is a violation of ethical conduct, but I don't think I have ever seen it used in that fashion," former infractions committee chairman David Swank said. "My opinion would be that it is not (an enforcement issue). There are other venues to take care of the problems that occurred at Penn State, and one of those is not the NCAA."</blockquote><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The NCAA being able to dictate and liberally apply nebulously worded by-laws is, to me, the most dangerous precedent to set. You have rules. You have established these rules. These rules govern a certain aspect of life and culture (in this case the eligibility of student-athletes) and no more. I do not ask the City of Auburn’s Housing Authority to tell me what temperature I should store ground beef in a supermarket. No, there are different agencies to handle and determine rules and regulations.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The NCAA creating their own rules, on the fly, at the behest of the masses would allow them to essentially rule ANYTHING as a violation, even if it didn’t violate specific NCAA rules. For example, say coach was a smoker. Smoking is not illegal. However, one could argue that Coach X, by constantly smoking in his office or by letting his players see him smoke would not set a good example for his players. The NCAA could now simply say, “Well coach, we think that’s wrong that you smoke around players. We now issue a 2 scholarship reduction”. Yes, that example is overkill, but it still gives an example of what the newfound power of the NCAA. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Not every criminal matter is an NCAA issue. If a coach commits adultery (which in some states is a criminal matter) does that really affect the eligibility of his players? No. Is it an NCAA issue? <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-07-22/Penn-State-NCAA-sanctions/56413666/1">No</a>.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span>&nbsp;</span></div><blockquote>Chuck Smrt, who was on the NCAA enforcement staff for more than 17 years, said that the NCAA involvement in the case could open a Pandora's Box for the organization in the future regarding criminal activities on campuses across the nation. <br /><br />"Then the next time an athletic staff member at another school is involved in criminal activity, are you going to look at whether other staff members were aware and followed up on that?" Smrt said. "When a coach is involved in criminal activity, does every school then need to review who knew what along the way and assess whether there has been unethical conduct? Or does it relate only to the significance of the criminal activity? And then, well, where do you draw that line?"</blockquote><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">The biggest issue with the NCAA getting involved is just who, exactly, are they punishing?</div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">All in all, punishment hardens and renders people more insensible; it concentrates; it increases the feeling of estrangement; it strengthens the power of resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>-Nietzche</i></b></div><div align="center" class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">If the NCAA wants to make this a football issue by issuing scholarship reductions and bowl bans then you are punishing players who, again, had no part in the initial crime. The punishment will come after the actions of administrators but you are punishing players. Players who did not commit to play for Jerry Sandusky and future players who did not commit to play for Joe Paterno. I’ve heard it mentioned that when SMU was hit with the Death Penalty that it punished players who had no role in that scandal. That doesn’t make it any better. It also doesn’t change my feeling that the Death Penalty is absolute overkill by the NCAA and ultimately punishes those not responsible. It punishes those who stayed. Personally, the Death Penalty is using a hand grenade on a house fly. </div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">Penn State seems safe from the Death Penalty. At least, according to most sources. However, they do seem to face staggering fines and penalties of a monetary sort (such as bowl bans). Who does that really hurt? Does that even make a difference?&nbsp;</div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">One source put the fine in the $60 Million range. That’s all well and good but last year’s Athletic Revenue for PSU was around $116 Million. Some of that $60 Million could undoubtedly be made up through private donations. I’m sure there are more than a few Penn State fans ready to open up their checkbooks to help restore the Blue and White to their once proud status. They will donate to show they still stand by their school.&nbsp;</div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">What that fine WILL affect is PSU’s other sports. Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, etc. Most of the Olympic sports will probably have to deal with fewer resources, less accommodations, fewer renovations. For a school that is supposedly being penalized for having a football-first culture, any monetary penalty will damage the football program the least. Football will still be king and it will still be the quickest to recover.&nbsp;</div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;">No, the same athletes the NCAA is trying to protect will now be punished for doing nothing else than attending a school. Yes, there are always collateral damages in NCAA penalties. People who took no part in violations will be punished (unfairly). That doesn’t make it any better. In fact, that continued allowance of others to be punished for the crimes of few makes it even worse. It develops a sense of disenfranchisement. It reaffirms that position of second class citizen. Yes, you’re an NCAA athlete but you don’t play football. You will still get punished like you were.&nbsp;</div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-left: 0.5in; text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>–George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman</i></b></div><div class="inside-copy" style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;">For all intents and purposes, Penn State is dead. They will never be the same. The public sentiment, the fall of an idol, the constant judgment and more. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Sure, they will return to some sense of normalcy after a few years, but whenever someone hears “Penn State” no matter the context, it will be overshadowed by taunts of “child-rapists” and “cover-ups”. Is that fair? That’s not for me to say. Have the people involved been punished enough? Probably not. Should the people not involved be punished by an organization that has no authority over this case? Absolutely not.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><span>As always, leave your comments below, through <a href="mailto:plainsmanparkinglot@gmail.com">email</a>, or on <a href="https://twitter.com/AUPPL">Twitter</a>.&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></div>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-1438772266109964462012-04-22T14:49:00.001-07:002012-04-22T14:53:56.521-07:00The Worst of Times<br />I really didn’t want to write this post. 3 weekends ago it would have been the furthest thing from my mind. Things have changed. As the British would say, the season went “pear-shaped”. Auburn got off to a hot and surprising start. Winning 3 straight SEC series and starting to get some National Recognition; things were looking pretty sunny on the Plains. Then came Easter Weekend. A sweep by the SEC’s worst team. The next weekend, another loss to the bottom of the League. Now this weekend, another SEC series loss. 3 straight wins to start. 3 straight losses to finish. You already know this. I was not expecting a series win against Carolina. Historically, that’s been near impossible for Auburn. However, I was hoping for at least one win. We really NEEDED one win. Currently, it’s Carolina 6 and Auburn 0 in the bottom of the 4th and the Tigers are staring at the prospect of hitting a dire stretch of losing 8 of their last 9 SEC games. All of that good mojo and karma from the start of SEC play has all but been erased. This post serves as some sort of catharsis for me personally, but also serves to answer some questions that get posed to me on Twitter, from friends, and through emails. <br /><br /><h4 align="center"><u><span style="color: #ff8040;">Is John Pawlowski on the Hot Seat? </span></u></h4><br />Theoretically? Maybe. Realistically? No.<br /><br />Let’s review a couple of facts: <br /><br />First, John Pawlowski’s Contract runs through 2015. It was an extension that was awarded after the 2010 Season. I don’t have access to the contract and its language, but if Auburn was to terminate the contract after this season, then AU Athletics would still be on the hook for 3 full seasons of pay. <br /><br />Second, there’s something few people are discussing openly. <i>IF</i> Pawlowski is let go, especially after being given a contract extension in 2010, it would be the first (to my knowledge) Jay Jacobs’s hire that didn’t work out. For a man who is quickly building a legacy of bringing top quality coaches who create champions at Auburn, the CJP “experiment” (again, hypothetically) would serve as a pretty dark mark on that resume. It’s not a pride thing, it’s more of a waiting out the storm. <br /><br />Third, there is also something I like the call the “Renfroe Rationale”. It still, to this day, boggles my mind that Steve Renfroe was let go after missing the SEC tournament ONCE. Personally, his firing and the uneasy feeling that Auburn baseball still hasn’t fully recovered showed the dangers of not letting a coach see their full tenure and replacing them with quickly. If only there was some basis, some bit of evidence, even anecdotal, that could show that if given time, John Pawlowski can win. Oh yeah, here it is:<br /><br /><blockquote>Pawlowski at College of Charleston:<br /><ul><li>2000 - 28-28-1 (14-15-1)</li><li>2001 - 24-28 (10-16)</li><li>2002 - 36-22 (19-11)</li><li>2003 - 31-27 (17-13)</li><li>2004 - 47-16 (25-5) SoCon Champions, NCAA Regional</li><li>2005 - 48-15 (27-3) SoCon Champions, NCAA Regional</li><li>2006 - 46-17 (20-7) SoCon Tournament Champions, Lexington Regional Champions, Atlanta Super Regional</li><li>2007 - 39-19 (20-7) SoCon Co-Champions</li></ul></blockquote><br />Look at that 5th year. That started the good times at C of C. I think this also (somewhat mildly) answers the criticism that CJP can only win with someone else’s players. I actually hear that a lot. “He only won with Slater’s players”. Which is thinking that completely ignores the fact that some key players on that team were brought in by Pawlowski. Guys like Justin Fradejas, Slade Smith, and Creede Simpson, and Justin Bryant. <br /><br />Yes, I can also admit some criticism and that there are flaws with the “Renfroe Rationale”. Namely, that is didn’t give Tom Slater a full and fair shake. I think it does, in a way. We could have seen what would have happened with Slater as well, but Auburn didn’t and we are still in the similar situation that we were in when he replaced Renfroe. You gave one coach 4 years. He had solid success, hit a bad break. You Fired Him. You gave the next coach 4 years. He had very little success. You fired him. Now the next Auburn coach is finishing his 4th year. Do you fire him as well? Do we repeat this pattern of 4 years, Some Highs/ Some Lows, and then clean house? Maybe, just maybe, we ride this one out. I mean, let’s just see what happens when we actually KEEP a baseball coach for more than 4 years, or we could be stuck in this Ouroboros of baseball fandom permanently. <br /><br />Finally, who exactly would you want to replace CJP? What coach would jump at the situation where the previous 3 coaches have all been let go after 4 years. Are there any hot names out there? Is there a short list? Do <i>I</i> have a short-list? Gun to my head? Here’s my Top 5:<br /><br /><ol><li><a href="http://www.ucfathletics.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/rooney_terry00.html">Terry Rooney</a>- Central Florida</li><li><a href="http://www.aumathletics.com/coach/0/3.php">Q.V. Lowe</a>- Auburn-Montgomery</li><li><a href="http://www.aggieathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=632718&amp;SPID=93243&amp;DB_LANG=C&amp;DB_OEM_ID=27300&amp;ATCLID=205236604&amp;Q_SEASON=2011">Rob Childress</a>- Texas A&amp;M</li><li><a href="http://www.southernmiss.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/berry_scott00.html">Scott Berry</a> – Southern Miss</li><li><a href="http://www.samfordsports.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/dunn_casey00.html">Casey Dunn</a>- Samford</li></ol>I’m really only including Dunn on the list because I know his name would pop up in discussions if the position came open. The ONLY guy on that list that I think would be an upgrade over CJP would be Rooney at UCF. Great recruiter, great developer, and has ties to an SEC power (LSU). Other than him, this isn’t much of a list that Auburn could legitimately get. I still have to be sold on Dunn, there is this bizarre fascination with him and the most of the time the only response I get when I ask, “Why do you want him?” : He’s an Auburn guy and he owns Pawlowski. Ignoring the flawed logic in that statement, I have a bigger concern that bringing in Dunn has the potential to be the Return of Slater. Fiery Coach, Good Recruiter, from a smaller school that has limited but not great success (comparatively speaking). There’s also the danger that if Dunn <i>did </i>fail that he would be pulled too late and it would divide the fan base squarely because some fans would feel that Auburn is doing an Auburn guy wrong. <br /><br />Ultimately though, the choice remains with Jay Jacobs. <i>If </i>CJP is let go, then Jacobs will have to work even harder to make certain that whatever choice is made better stick and stay.<br /><br />Another quick note on Pawlowski. The criticisms against him are growing louder and louder. There is no denying that. They are getting collective. One in particular is very disturbing and that’s the two-fold criticism: His players don’t like him and he runs of guys who excel other places. <br /><br />For the latter point, it’s actually pretty dead wrong. Here’s a list of guys who have left the program (i.e. didn’t graduate or get drafted) under CJP’s tenure:<br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Patrick Merkling (Lee University-NAIA)- 2.17 ERA 7-1 Record 44k 1 CGS <br />Ryan Welke- (College of Charleston) - .138 Batting Average. 18 games started. 8 hits 15ks. .275 OBS <br />Garrett Bush (Seminole CC)- 31 IP/ 4.65 ERA / 17 k 20 bb <br />Brooks Beisner (Florida Gulf Coast) - No stats accrued <br />Stafford Booth (Shelton State) .229 BA / 30 RBI / .320 OBS <br />Will Irvin (Union University- NAIA) 2.88 ERA 6-2 Record with 2 CGS&nbsp; <br />Tyler Dial (Gulf Coast State CC) .336 BA / 43 RBI / 13 HR .444 OBS <br />Andrew Morris (Auburn-Montgomery) 3.27 ERA 5-4 Record 2 Saves 13 Wild Pitches <br />Phil Rossi (Gulf Coast State CC) 2011 Stats: 14.54 ERA 0-1 Record 10 k 16 bb <br />Dexter Price (South Carolina-Beaufort)- Drafted by Diamondbacks in 2012. 2011 Stats: 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA <br />Brandon Perry (Birmingham Southern)- .181 BA 27 starts 17 hits 9 rbis 12 ks .257 OBS <br />Adam Purdy (Troy): 21.60 ERA 0-2 Record 1.2 Innings Pitched&nbsp; <br />Chezz McCann (Auburn-Montgomery) .257 BA 35 Starts 28 hits .328 OB% 21 Errors <br />That should be a pretty comprehensive list. I couldn't find any baseball info on: <br />Brian Hougton (Looks like he is still at Auburn. Jr in PreBusiness) <br />Miles Morton (Looks like he graduated in 2010 from Auburn) <br />Matt Lewis (Could still be enrolled at AU. There is a Matt Lewis who is a PreBusiness Senior at AU) <br />John Mantecon (Still at Auburn. Senior Graduating this year in Economics) <br />Rus Harper - Graduated in 2011 from Auburn in Finance</span></blockquote><br />There is actually a pretty lengthy discussion thread over on ITAT (where I originally posted the above info) that diverged into this topic (amongst a couple other Anti/Pro CJP threads over there). My opinions on CJP and his players is pretty straightforward:<br /><br />I know for certain that there are some current players that don’t like playing for him. However, their performance on the field hasn’t reflected those feelings and for that I respect those players even more. The team overall still fights, still competes, just (right now) doesn’t win. I don’t have a child so I can realistically and honestly answer the question of “Would You Let Your Son Play for Him?”. These guys are competing for Auburn. Not for a coach. Maybe this is a shortsighted and narrow viewpoint, but if there are growing numbers of players who are anti CJP then that will ultimately cost him his job. His job future depends on how many Ws he collects, not how many smiles he puts on players faces. <br /><br /><br /><br /><h4 align="center"><u><span style="color: #ff8040;">Is the Season Lost? </span></u></h4><br /><br /><br />Not yet, but it is teetering dangerously close to spiraling out of control. Auburn is currently fighting back against Carolina (Gonzo up, Bases Loaded, Bottom 9, Auburn trails 6-11). Again, I was not expecting a series win against Carolina. I was already looking ahead to next weekend against Tennessee, because that (to me) is going to make of break our season. <br /><br />Here’s how I see it:<br /><br />Auburn needs 9 wins (or 8 depending on how comfortable/close you want to cut it) to ensure that we would finish the season at least 2 games over .500 overall and (if) we make the SEC Tournament, we would still leave OVER .500. Basically, I think we need to end the year at 30-25. Yes, you could finish at 29-26 but really, 30 wins is better than 29 and it’s going to help the RPI and resume for Auburn. <br /><br />If we take our 3 (Jax St, Troy, Presby) midweek games. We reduce the number to 6 wins. Those 6 wins have to come in the final 4 SEC series. Let's say by some miracle we beat UT and UGA. Don't sweep but take both series. That puts us at 28-21 going into the final weekends. You'd have to avoid sweeps and that would put the final overall record at 30-25 (13-17). Is that really a good enough record conference-wise to get you in to Hoover? Hard to tell. It definitely hurts that the two teams we would hope to be above (Vandy/Bama) will have the tie breakers on us.<br /><br />That’s what makes the Tennessee series so crucial. I know we will bandy to term “Must-Win” about, but UT is exactly that. We HAVE to win. A sweep would be perfect. A sweep? It would right the ship pretty quickly. Whatever the case, the ship has to be righted or we’ll sitting at home after May 19th. <br /><br /><br /><h4 align="center"><u><span style="color: #ff8040;">What Needs to Change, Now? </span></u></h4><br /><br />Obvious Question is Obvious. It’s Pitching and Errors. Mainly the errors. Our fielding has become absolutely abysmal and it has lead to more chances and more runs for opponents. <br /><br />(and now the Auburn game is over. Tigers lose 7-11. Get Swept)<br /><br />Also, it’s time to take a good hard look at the Weekend Rotation. Varnadore has slowly become unraveled and has exactly 1 win to show for the season. <br /><br />Is the solution to move him? Not now, in my opinion. He’s your Friday guy. Unless you have lost all faith in his ability and skill then there is no sense in moving him. My only recommendation would be a quick hook. Quicker than normal if he shows signs of struggling. <br /><br />Auburn has to find someone in the bullpen who can answer the bell. Dillon Ortman is one candidate. Slade Smith another. We need a guy who when the game is getting dicey, we can say: Ok, put out the fire. We just don’t have any firemen in the pen right now. <br /><br />Offensively, and especially after seeing today, I think Kody Ortman needs to be given more consistent shots at DH. I know it’s one game, but he provided a spark and could be a gamechanger. Cooper is developing a little power surge, Creede is struggling. The lineup needs to settle. These random jumps and moving guys up and down the lineup is creating these ridiculous holes and is setting up situations where we are taking the bat OUT of a hot hitters hands by forcing him to bunt. <br /><br />Whatever the case, Auburn needs to answer and they need to answer on Tuesday against Troy. <br /><br /><br /><h4 align="center"><u><span style="color: #ff8040;">What Needs to Change, Then? </span></u></h4><br /><br />I’m going to be perfectly frank here. There is one dark cloud on the Horizon for Auburn and I don’t think anyone has mentioned it. 2013 is going to be another rebuilding year. Even more so than this year. Looking at the Roster, I can honestly see a case where Auburn is replacing:<br /><ul><li>DH</li><li>2B</li><li>1B</li><li>SP1</li><li>SP2</li><li>C</li><li>OF1</li><li>OF2</li></ul>That means, once again, Auburn will be replacing the majority of their infield and outfield and now the added bonus of 2 weekend starters. It’s hard to have consistency from Year to Year when you have so much turnover. That’s what makes 2013 an even bigger year for Auburn, because the guys in line to replace and fill these roles could potentially also be around for 2014 as well. <br /><br />There’s really no point in planning for 2013 at this point, but maybe one thing to consider would be to favor D-heavy but O-Challenged players who can consistently and routinely make outs. <br /><br />There is also talent coming in with the upcoming recruiting class and thankfully, it isn’t as JUCO heavy as year’s past. <br /><br /><br /><h4 align="center"><u><span style="color: #ff8040;">Anything Else?</span></u></h4><br />I’m not ready to close the book on 2012, yet. However, it’s gutcheck time. Not only for the team, but also for the future of CJP on the Plains. I’ll still go to games. I’ll support the team. However, losses like the past 3 weekends will have more critical eyes and minds looking at Auburn baseball. People who normally wouldn’t have noticed in the past. It’s all going to depend on how Auburn responds down this final stretch. It starts Tuesday down in Troy. We can either pull up on the yoke or push the nose towards the ground. Up to us. War Eaglekevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-77408660450509127362012-04-17T15:56:00.001-07:002012-04-17T15:56:51.444-07:00STAT of the Union Week 9: Battle of Midway<p>Halfway through the SEC schedule and Auburn is in the middle of it’s most trying stretch. Going a combined 1-5 vs the statistical and record bottom of the SEC. The stats, however, only reflect minor changes, but they were changes to the negative. Here’s the Spreadsheets:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dFRKdmpsbWJUMkowcFhBUEMxS05VZ3c&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dFdrb2lyeUpOVHFTZ0lvSDZ0bEk0dkE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dEs1Y3hhOEhnYTB4bm12R1ZiNHBHb0E&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>A couple of quick observations:</p> <ul> <li>Outside of Ethan Wallen. Every Auburn pitcher who had made a previous appearance, took the mound for this 4 game series. Cameron Blinka and Justin Camp have not made an appearance. </li> <li>Garrett Cooper (.083) and Zach Alvord (.077) struggled mightily in Nashville. Alvord at least was given a night off tonight, but at some point, Cooper will need a full day spell with either Ortman, Bryant, or Savage taking duties over one day. </li> <li>Speaking of Bryant, according to the radio broadcast, if Coop was unable to go Saturday or Sunday after taking a bad tweak in the field Friday, Bryant was to play First, Alvord at 3rd, and Bobby Andrews at DH.</li> <li>We actually did steal some bases. Hopefully this is a good trend. </li> <li>Tella continues to be our best and most consistent hitter, though he has hit some dry spells in the midweek games. </li> <li>Creede Simpson hit .400 during the Vandy series, hopefully this and Gonzo’s .444 clip are a step in the right direction. </li> </ul> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-27363862032556002342012-04-10T14:46:00.001-07:002012-04-10T14:46:45.140-07:00STAT of the Union Week 8: Presented without Comment<p>Last weekend was a disaster. The numbers don’t show anything other than the hitting didn’t progress and the pitching took a step back. Only a single steal attempt against the most porous battery in the SEC. Struggles from Gonzo/Creede. Tonight’s lineup is a major shakeup from the previous games:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <ol> <li>Glevenyak (SS)</li> <li> Tella (CF)</li> <li>Cooper (1B)</li> <li>Bryant (DH) </li> <li>Wacker (LF)</li> <li>Simpson (2B)</li> <li>Alvord (3B)</li> <li> Gonzalez (RF) </li> <li>Austin (Catch)</li> </ol> <p>&#160;</p> <p>The season officially hits a rest button vs Samford tonight. Here’s your stats as Auburn embarks on the toughest part of the season and starts ticking off 13 (at least) victories:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dG9qN0hvdDdCekNKOW5zTWUxYnRqeVE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dC0tbUNfSG5qMlpHVVV0TElyRUdwVGc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGtwRi1MTnFFdVVGOTYxRUJ0Sk5MdEE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-3887804199742754072012-04-03T09:16:00.001-07:002012-04-03T09:16:14.674-07:00STAT of the Union Week 7: The Hold Steady<p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /></p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p><iframe height="240" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Isvn_Dsj2bA" frameborder="0" width="310" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Sometimes, change isn’t needed as long as it can get the job done. Sometimes, all you really need to do is Hold Steady. Look at Auburn this past week: the record was even (2-2), the overall ERA and Team BA had minor/negligible changes. Everything sort of plateaud. Is that good? Well, obviously if Auburn had gone 4-0 instead of 2-2 then everything would be coming up roses. Still, going 2-2 kept Auburn in the hunt in the SEC and actually puts Auburn in good position for the next 3 weekends. Before we take a look at those weekends, let’s take a quick peak&#160;&#160; <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dFlBSy1faTdHdUVVTm9tb3ZteW5HYXc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />There’s Auburn, swimming towards the top in hitting, towards the middle in pitching, and towards the bottom in fielding. Categorically, Auburn didn’t make strides positively or negatively in either category. We just held serve. Is that good enough? <br /> <br />For now, it is. That’s really all you can ask. I look at the Auburn baseball schedule about 3 times a week and one day keeps looming. April 19th. Once that day has come Auburn will have played 6 opponents. Only one of them currently with a winning record and all six having a combine 66-101 Record (49-90 if you don’t include Samford). Alabama, Vanderbilt, Alabama A&amp;M, Jacksonville State, Troy, Samford. Those are the teams that realistically could make of break Auburn’s season. Not South Carolina or Florida or Arkansas. These 6 teams in this big stretch of games.&#160; <br /> <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHQ0SkI3UzQzVHBZRnZKSGxpQTRZMFE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />Why? Just like last year it’s all about the overall record. Auburn is already in good position to make the SEC Tournament this year, especially with the 10 team bump. What could keep Auburn out of the postseason is not having above a .500 record. The RPI is there, the schedule is there, all that’s missing could be the win. Auburn has played 28 games. We have 27 more. The Tigers currently sit at 17-11 overall. Mathematically, you need to have to have 30 wins to almost guarantee finishing above .500. Auburn is more than halfway there. That’s why the series against Alabama and Vanderbilt are so critical. You have to at least win these series and completely the midweek sweep. That puts you at 8-2 heading in to the South Carolina series. We’ll give one mulligan maybe and say 7-3. That puts Auburn’s record at 24-14. <br /> <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGxqS0NoVW1CVDhNdWtNblNqbWRhbXc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />That’s still 6 wins away from 30. However, the good news would be they would have 17 games to do it. It might still be cutting it close. We’ll just chalk that up to a later bridge. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />For now, it starts with Jacksonville State. If, and this is a big IF, in my opinion, Auburn can go 10-0 during this stretch? Putting Auburn at 27-11? Then I will be able to breath deep, relax, and maybe, just maybe, think about HOSTING a regional instead of just making one. It all starts tonight. Jacksonville State. Auburn has to win. Simple as that. War Eagle&#160; </p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-49630538766757645602012-03-27T08:50:00.001-07:002012-03-27T08:50:57.841-07:00STAT of the Union: Week 6<p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />It was definitely an interesting week for Auburn baseball. Yes, the Tigers took the series from LSU, but give the Bengals some credit, they shut down a key aspect of the Auburn offense: Steals. LSU had 2 pick offs and Auburn wasn’t able to steal a single base all series. The lack of steals shows me something positive for Auburn. We can still win without stealing. However, these are going to be close games. The LSU series was good for Auburn because statistically, these two teams are identical. The only difference is that LSU has a bit more extra base power and Auburn a little more speed. Batting Average? .002 difference. HRs? Identical. Slugging %? Only .001 difference. Total bases? Only +/- 20. Even in ERA. Only a .006 difference. In fact, when you look at the SEC Stats and Rankings, an interesting thought comes up:</p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHF6dHlsSktLMGdGdDU0dE50aXlJN2c&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />Probably on the best things to come from this series? Auburn lowered the team ERA .460 and did that against the 4th best offense in the league. In fact, Auburn pitching has already faced the (currently) Number 2 and Number 4 offenses in the league and came out winners. They avoid Number 1 (Kentucky), Sit at Number 3, </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> won’t face the Number 5 (Florida) offense until the series finale. Long story short, Auburn has faced some pretty solid bats the first two weeks of the season and has come out surprisingly better. Why? Again, just like the Ole Miss series, it was pitching:</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHNBVTZOY3hpeGI2eXlsay1xWC1OOVE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />Just Look at all of the Green. All but 2 pitchers who made an appearance over the 4 game homestand lowered their ERAs. TGC (the tough loser on Sunday) still pitched quite well considering he hadn’t hit the hill in almost 3 weeks. The MVP? Probably Jay Wade who cut his ERA almost in half with his appearance on Saturday: 2.1 IP/3h/0er/2k/1bb. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />As for the bats, we still have some issues. Still leaving men on. The lack of steals versus LSU was upsetting but we’ve got some positives to work with: <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHVFNTg4SG95ZXE0NmdqalhJOVFNenc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />Creede looks like he is heating back up. Although he only raised his average a bump (.003) He is trending in the right direction. Ryan Tella may have gotten a lot of the publicity this past weekend (deservedly so) but I really think you have to spotlight Zach Alvord’s performance at the plate. He’s raised his average above .300, hit a smooth .500 over the 4 game set (.455 vs LSU). Plus, having him hit 9 eliminates a gap in the Auburn offense as Jay Gonzalez’s struggles continue to grow. Thankfully, Gonzo is starting to heat back up (.200 vs LSU) and there are some positives to work with. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Overall, the numbers look good so far. The Pitching continues to surprise and the hitting has hit a lull but Auburn is still winning. It just means the AU might be pretty scary when we can get all 3 phases clicking at once. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />War Eagle.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-17322518396521621642012-03-23T08:25:00.001-07:002012-03-23T08:27:05.685-07:00Visitor’s Dugout: And the Valley Shook<p><img style="margin: 5px" src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL/vistorsdugout.jpg" /></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>You could hear me blab on and on about Auburn baseball and the upcoming series against LSU. Thankfully, <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/valleyshook">PodKATT</a> from <em><a href="http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/">And the Valley Shook</a></em> took the time to answer some of my LSU baseball related Questions. As with most Visitor’s Dugout, you can check out my answers to his questions over <a href="http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/">there</a>.</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h4>1) I've seen/followed some LSU games where the offense is rolling (The McNeese games come to mind) and some where they've been shut down (Appalachian State). Can you pinpoint a reason? Is it something Auburn should try to do?</h4> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>The difference is quality opposing pitching. Using the teams you mentioned as an example, McNeese in two games could never find anyone who could last more than an inning or two before giving up a couple of ground ball RBIs. Appy St, on the other hand, won their two games largely because of two starters who had monster days, only giving up a combined 5 hits with 14Ks. Another good example is the close Friday win (in 10 innings) against Miss St. where the bulldog Stratton had 17Ks and got SEC pitcher of the week honors in a loss. This lineup isn't afraid to swing against a good strike thrower, the trouble is LSU won't connect on most of it.</p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h4>2) Is there anyway to slow down Katz or Rhymes? To me, and on paper, they look like guys Auburn might just try to pitch around just to be safe.</h4> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>Rhymes may be the quietest player to lead LSU (and indeed the SEC) in BA that i can remember. He's not a power hitter (6 doubles are his only extra-base hits), he's just very good at getting the ball on the ground when guys are aboard, and as such fills the cleanup spot in the lineup perfectly. Katz's numbers are still a little inflated from when he nearly tied the NCAA consecutive safely reached base record earlier this season (17 times in a row.) At the hight of the streak, all of his batting numbers were over .500 with a SLG of .950. He's a small guy, but he's also the closest thing LSU has to a power hitter. If anyone is going to get one out of the park for LSU this weekend, it's going to be Katz. </p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h4>3) Offensively, Auburn and LSU look pretty similar. Only .002 difference in AVG. Identical numbers in Triples/HRs. etc. The only thing I've noticed is a lack of the usual power from LSU and Auburn (obviously) stealing whenever they can. Have you noticed any similarities? </h4> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>I wouldn't be an LSU fan if I didn't rant about how these bats are killing college baseball as we knew it. Almost all of LSU's season has been at home in a park designed to make things difficult with the old bats. Nowadays being a power team is damn near impossible. It's frustrating to see this team struggle at times playing the &quot;small ball&quot; game when, as a fan, you want them to be swinging away, even if the numbers say they won't be successful doing that either. To my eyes, Auburn and LSU are both trying the same things at the plate and Auburn might be doing it a little better. The difference in W-L may just be that Auburn has played a tougher schedule. I will say that LSU's base running numbers might be higher if we hadn't gotten so bad at it lately. The last few weeks it seems every game we get a little rally going in the 3rd or 4th, only to have it snuffed out by a base running mistake, and I'm starting to think the coaches are telling them to go at the wrong times.</p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h4>4) How can Auburn win this series? How can LSU win it? What're your predictions?</h4> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>Auburn can win if they can keep the scores close until they face our not quite reliable relief pitching and stay aggressive on base. LSU can win it if they get some timely extra base hits, probably off of Auburn fielding errors, and don't let Auburn's aggressive base running make them throw into errors. I think LSU takes 2 of 3, but would not be surprised if Auburn took it instead. Home field advantage is a real factor in this league and LSU has lost 8 of it's last 9 SEC road series going back to the 2010 season.</p></blockquote> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-1348777776801623082012-03-20T14:19:00.001-07:002012-03-20T14:19:14.647-07:00STAT of the Union & Cautious Optimism<p>&#160;</p> <p>This past weekend was big for Auburn in many ways. Normally, you can’t list the opening SEC series as a “turning point” but I think, for Auburn, it applies. The Tigers were dominated on Friday night and for 8.2 inning on Sunday. It seemed like the offense hit a bit of a lull. In fact, if you look at the overall SEC stats, the Tigers fell off their pace a little bit. </p> <p> <br /><iframe style="width: 501px; height: 334px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGRzUjJRSXpIOFh4WkV3SVlZYU9pb2c&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Auburn dropped .012 in Batting Average, .019 in Slugging and .012 in On Base Percentage. Normally these would seem like only incremental drops but the number are a bit misleading. Consider that the only thing preventing a bigger drop for Auburn was the outstanding performance of Ryan Tella, who went 7 for 12 (.583) for the series and added production by Cullen Wacker (.300) and Garrett Cooper (.307). Auburn’s 3, 4, and 5 hitters came through and delivered. Especially on Sunday when they accounted for Auburn’s tieing and winning runs/rbis. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGVld2V5MjdmRmpCRGVWaTR0WExTV1E&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Cooper and Tella were the only regular everyday guys who actually improved their numbers. The distressing bits were the production of Creede Simpson and Jay Gonzalez at the top of the order. Creede hit a cool .077 for the series and Gonzo posted a .083 average. Even more troublesome is that, for Jay, these lack of hits have been replaced by strikeouts. 5 to be specific. With those, Gonzo has taken sole possession of the K lead for Auburn. Why is it important for Gonzo and Creede to hit well? Simply put, they are the spark plug for the offense. Auburn’s normally aggressive style needs it’s two leading base stealers on base in order to “light the fire” of the offense. Auburn only recorded 3 steals on 4 attempts over the weekend (solo bags from Alvord, Bryant, Tella, and an attempt from Wacker). Outside of Tella, these aren’t exactly burners on the basepaths. In order for Auburn to be successful, Creede and Gonzo have to get on. Especially with Tella absolutely raking at the plate right now. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>So how did Auburn take the series from Ole Miss? Surprisingly, it was the pitching that pulled Auburn through. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGFQbkJrQlpudWRUUHdEclhLd3VBMUE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Even though Varnadore got the loss Friday, he still pitched as well as he did since the season opener and lowered his ERA a tick. The biggest addition were Slade Smith’s continued improvement out of the bullpen (and another 1.58 shaved off his numbers) and Cory Luckie’s return to form. Luckie managed to cut his ERA in half from the previous 9.00 ugliness to a more respectable 4.26. The biggest increase was from Kendall, but that’s understandable considering that this was the first time he was actually hit hard and his 4 ERs were a season high. Still, his 5 innings of work combined with Slade’s 4 in relief and a Zach Alvord Grand Slam were all Auburn needed to dispatch the Rebels. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>So is there optimism about Auburn? Yes, but for now it is cautious optimism. Once Creede and Gonzo come around and if the pitching holds like it did in Oxford then Auburn can compete against anyone. Seriously. </p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-26158521508187278152012-03-13T17:54:00.002-07:002012-03-13T17:55:05.051-07:00Rain Outs and Resets<p>Tuesday’s game against South Alabama has been rained out. The impact for the Auburn baseball team is more than just a missed game (and an extra game later in the season); It erases a chance for positive momentum following Sunday’s 9th inning choke against Belmont before heading into SEC Play. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>So now Auburn opens SEC Play with a focused goal: Make it to Hoover. It’s an easier task this year with the field expanding to 10 teams in anticipation of Missouri and Texas A&amp;M’s addition next year. It makes getting there a bit easier. I mean, all you have to do is be better than two teams and currently those two teams are Alabama and Vanderbilt, with Tennessee holding a slight edge in the overall record. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>What to we know about the 2012 Auburn baseball team? What I know is that Auburn has 4 issues the Tigers have to fix to be successful in SEC Play.</p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p><strong>1. AUBURN HAS TO STOP STRANDING RUNNERS</strong></p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>Auburn is a team that will get hits. Mainly singles. Rarely Homeruns. We’ll will put guys on but, for now, the problem is getting them home. The number of LOB is astounding. The numbers is currently at 167. Auburn’s average of 9.8 LOB/game puts Auburn on pace to leave an astounding 550 men stranded. Compare to years past: 501 LOB in 2011 (8.6 avg), 527 LOB (8.2 avg) in 2010, and 405 LOB (7.2) in 2009. That is definitely one area of improvement. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>However, you have to applaud Auburn’s approach at the plate. Strikeouts are down, hits are up, steals are setting a record pace. Auburn has adjusted well to their new “small-ball” style. We can get guys on. We just have to get them in.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>2. <strong>AUBURN HAS BULLPEN DEPTH. WE SHOULD USE IT</strong>.</p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>Despite their setbacks and some blown saves, I actually have faith in the Auburn pitching staff. Simply because we already have an established core of 4 starters: Jon Luke Jacobs, Derek Varnadore, Daniel Koger, and Will Kendall. We have a nice base of Middle Relievers/Spot Starters in Slade Smith, Chase Williamson, and Rocky McCord. We have a setup guy (Ortman) and a closer (Bryant). We have guys that are filling roles.</p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>But even with everything that is good with the bullpen, we still have issues. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p>Auburn, so far, has continually relied on the same guys. Blatt. Bryant. Luckie. We’ve seen great stuff from Chase Williamson and Trey Cochran-Gill. I think we should use them more and develop them. Ethan Wallen has made one forgettable appearance. Cameron Blinka and Caleb Smith have yet to appear and Auburn has some other arms like Jay Wade that I would like to see more of. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p><strong>3. AUBURN HAS TO FIND A DH</strong>. Offensively, that’s the biggest area that Auburn is lacking. Once Bobby Andrews started to struggle, it forced Cullen Wacker to LF and reopened the DH spot in the lineup. So far, it’s been a mix of Kody Ortman or Pat Savage. I think it might be time to see if anyone else could fill that role. Ortman and Savage bring the biggest power threat but that’s not necessarily what Auburn has to have. The Tigers just need a consistent and productive hitter. Justin Bryant was rumored to be getting another shot in the field. Jarred Smith has been replaced by Zach Alvord in the field but that doesn’t mean his bat has to completely leave the lineup. Maybe even giving a normal “first off the bench” guy a shot like Tanner Cimo or Mitchell Self. Just production. </p> <p> </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> <p><strong>4. AUBURN HAS TO CUT DOWN ON ERRORS:</strong> This remains one of the most frustrating parts of Auburn. Stupid mistakes in the field. Costly errors at that. Take Belmont for instance. An error made the Sunday finale a 2 run deficit instead of a 1 run game. Auburn can make some incredible plays in the field. I’ve seen them myself. Alvord is developing better into a 3B. Creede has taken to 2B quite nicely (even though he does lead the team in errors). Glevenyak brings consistent production to keep him in the lineup. I think the infield is starting to gel a bit and hopefully with a little more time and luck we can start to shave off some of those errors and get those fielding percentages up. </p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-52442092253762166972012-03-13T08:37:00.001-07:002012-03-13T08:37:50.784-07:00STAT of the Union (Week 4)<p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> Another solid week for the Auburn pitching staff. The blown save on Sunday notwithstanding, Auburn actually pitched effectively and got 4 quality starts in each outing this week. Add in a save (and a blown save) by Justin Bryant, a nice turn by Slade Smith on Saturday, and Daniel Koger’s career best start and you can see Auburn pitching is slowing trending in the right direction. </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /></p> This week’s spreadsheets are listed below. Team leaders (good) in Green. Team leaders (bad) in red. SEC Top 5 in Yellow. <br /></p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /><iframe style="width: 500px; height: 395px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dE5rTzFCaGxuckVpd2pqaGVIRllNTUE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />My only issue is all those grey names. Those are pitchers who went unused. Now, a bit of that is the effect of solid pitching outings but it also shows a bit of overuse on Justin Bryant’s part. I still think that’s the key part missing from the bullpen. We need another bridge guy. If we can get our starter to the 6th inning without trouble then we can easily go Smith, Ortman, Bryant to close out the game and I think we can be incredibly effective. However, we still need 2 more guys to step up to help with the load? My pick would be Trey Cochran-Gill and Chase Williamson. For now, Rocky McCord could also be a guy that helps in mid-relief. With Auburn only playing single midweek games and Jon Luke Jacobs essentially being our midweek warrior (until someone falters), we have to find some innings for these guys. </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Now, on to hitting:</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /><iframe style="width: 500px; height: 458px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dEVRQ0x6T3BxUUd3N3hKbzFYNElvamc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br />Not the greatest week for hitting. Especially with 38 hits but only 5 extra base hits. A couple of batting averages leveled out but Yak, Tella, and Alvord are all starting to develop into solid hitters. If they can compliment the already strong core of Gonzo and Creede and Garrett Cooper can continue to develop power then I have little doubt Auburn will be just fine offensively. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />As for how the team c<iframe height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dF94NzlJMWxEam80Zlp3YmZRd0tNUUE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe>ompares to the SEC? Here’s the final chart:</p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-16999758050436962212012-03-06T08:58:00.001-08:002012-03-06T08:58:19.248-08:00STAT of the Union (Week 3)<p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> <p> <p> A Ton of numbers to pour through on the eve of Tonight’s Max Capital (or Capitol. I always mess that up) City Classic. Although the scoreboard didn’t really reflect it, it was actually a nice week for Auburn pitching. The low scoring affairs against Alabama State and Charleston Southern certainly helped matters. Slade Smith’s move to the bullpen (although he did claim the loss Sunday) worked out well. He was able to shave almost 5 runs off of his ERA. Cory Luckie (on the flip side) saw his perfect ERA Balloon after some one and done nights. If Slade can establish himself out of the bullpen it would give Auburn some much needed stability with Justin Bryant, Trey Cochran-Gill, Chase Williamson, and Dillon Ortman all seeming to settle in. <br /> <br />Another big surprise was the emergence of Will Kendall in a spot start. I’m sure we will find out soon enough if this is a permanent thing or merely a transition to move Jon Luke Jacobs to the weekend. <br /> <br />This week’s spreadsheets are listed below. Team leaders (good) in Green. Team leaders (bad) in red. SEC Top 5 in Yellow. <br /> <br /><iframe style="width: 508px; height: 735px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dGp0R2FZWXplUVdnQm0zNjZIdkRoUnc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br /></p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <h5></h5> <h2>HITTING:</h2> <p><iframe style="width: 501px; height: 429px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dFJwYkdZMEFsUVZUc0hYNDNoNUZvU2c&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br /> <br /></p> <h2>PITCHING</h2> <br /> <p><iframe style="width: 582px; height: 415px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHpESHlfcm9wZ2loa1pGWHJyREIxVVE&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-12094244292104127622012-02-28T08:05:00.001-08:002012-02-28T08:05:53.133-08:00STAT of the Union (Week 2)<p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br /></p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /><iframe style="width: 502px; height: 562px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dFpSanlESTdCZEMzbTRVZVlIRlFpemc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe> <br /> <br /> <br />We have good news and bad news in this week's look at Auburn's stats. The good news? The offense has steadily improved, thanks to an impressive outpouring against Alcorn State. The bad news? Getting steamboated by Arizona plummeted AU's Pitching Staff to the bottom of the SEC in almost every major statistical category. The Tigers have given up the most hits, have the 2nd worse ERA, and have the worst Opponent's Batting Average against. The hits issue is the most disturbing. 51! That's almost a 200% increase. When the ERA raises nearly a full point? There are issues. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Around the league, a tend is starting to emerge. Carolina still has a dominant pitching staff and Arkansas still has a brutal offense. Perhaps surprisingly are two teams (like Auburn) who are trying to establish themselves out of the cellar with 2 different styles of offense. Kentucky with power and Tennessee with speed. UT and MSU are probably the closest teams offensively to Auburn so when those teams hook up, it will be interesting to watch. </p></p></p></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-70813970722755992792012-02-24T14:33:00.001-08:002012-02-24T14:33:59.031-08:00SEC Preview: Week 2<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>ALABAMA vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff (AUPPL Prediction UA 3-0):</strong> The Crimson Tide tries to get back on track and welcomes SWAC Cupcake UAPB to the Capstone. It's a Tide team searching for answers and hoping to find them in their pitching staff. Since the Golden Lions are hitting a modest .185 as team should help Alabama gain some confidence before a road trip to New Orleans next weekend. Alabama will still rely on two Freshman Lefty arms (Taylor Guilbeau on Friday/ Justin Kamplain on Sunday) in the rotation. There's not really a doubt that the Tide bats can heat up it's a battered pitching staff they need to refocus in order to tread water in the SEC.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>ARKANSAS vs Valparaiso (AUPPL Prediction UA 3-0):</strong> Another essentially "non-test" for the Razorbacks. Even though the visiting Crusaders won their opening series for the first time since 2009 they are in the just starting a road trip that won't put them back in Indiana until March 23<sup>rd</sup>.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>FLORIDA vs William &amp; Mary (AUPPL Prediction UF 3-0):</strong> After a tough opening slate which featured 2 Nationally Ranked opponents and 2 in-state rivals, Florida finally catches a break. The Gators have looked impressive so far, going 4-1. The visiting Tribe may put up some fight (the almost upset Virginia in a midweek tilt recently. Keyword: Almost) but Florida should keep one eye on the Green &amp; Gold and another on their next series when they travel to Coral Gables to face Miami.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>GEORGIA vs Winthrop (AUPPL Prediction UGA 3-0):</strong> One surprising part of the Bulldogs this year has been their rotation which has been solid. The visiting Eagles are hitting only .152 as a team so that's probably not going to go south this weekend. We're still a few weekends out from that big UCLA/UGA tilt so until that key series from the team out West, the Red and Black will just pad their resume with the likes of Western Illinois, Western Carolina and this weekend, Winthrop. Georgia hopes to get off to their best start since 2009 when they opened 14-0.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>KENTUCKY vs Buffalo (AUPPL Prediction UK 3-0):</strong> While the rest of Big Blue Nation is focused on Hoops, the UK Baseball team is quietly putting together a solid offensive attack. The visiting Bulls haven't played a game yet and Kentucky is finally getting to play on their Home Field. One stat to keep an eye on is the UK defense. The Wildcats are the only SEC team who has yet to make an error this season.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>LSU vs Appalachian State (AUPPL Prediction LSU 3-0):</strong> LSU is steadily improving and App State isn't exactly a team of world beaters. This game will probably let LSU test out and tweak some different lineups.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt">Actually, looking over the other SEC Games on the schedule, there really aren't any other games besides the Auburn/Arizona series that stand out. Here's a quick rundown of the other action:</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>OLE MISS vs UNC-Wilmington (AUPPL Prediction UM 3-0)</strong></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>MISSISSIPPI STATE vs Kansas/MS Valley State (AUPPL Prediction MSU 4-0)</strong></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>CAROLINA vs Elon (AUPPL Prediction USC 3-0)</strong></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>TENNESSEE vs Seton Hall (AUPPL Prediction UT 3-0)</strong></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><strong>VANDERBILT vs Oregon (AUPPL Prediction UO 2-1):</strong> Now here's a series that has upset written all over it. The Commodores face another Pac-12 Foe, but this time gets to do it in Nashville. Tyler Beede is out of the rotation (for now) and VU will hopefully be able to cut down on some terrible fielding they've were plagued with in the Stanford series.</p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"> </p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-45353704177237717212012-02-21T09:33:00.002-08:002012-02-21T09:35:48.159-08:00Around the SEC (2/21)<p>One weekend in the books, another gearing up to go. It’s midweek time and a chance for some good solid tuneups. Before we get into that, let’s see how the predictions worked out last week <br /> <br /></p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="400"><tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132"><strong>Team</strong></td> <td valign="top" width="80"><strong>Prediction</strong></td> <td valign="top" width="68"><strong>Actual</strong></td> <td valign="top" width="118">SCORE</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Florida (vs CSUF)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">2-1</td> <td valign="top" width="68">2-1</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">UGA (vs Presby)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">UK (Upstate Tourney)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">SC (vs VMI)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">UT (vs N. Illinois)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Bama (vs FAU)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">2-1</td> <td valign="top" width="68">0-3</td> <td valign="top" width="118">1-2</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">LSU (LSU Tourney)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Vandy (at Stanford)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">1-2</td> <td valign="top" width="68">0-3</td> <td valign="top" width="118">2-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Ole Miss (at TCU)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">1-2*</td> <td valign="top" width="68">1-1</td> <td valign="top" width="118">2-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">MSU (vs Wazzou)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">2-1</td> <td valign="top" width="68">2-1</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Ark (vs Nova)</td> <td valign="top" width="80">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="68">3-0</td> <td valign="top" width="118">3-0</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <p> </p><p> </p><p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> <br /><strong>FLORIDA:</strong> Next up for the Gators is a midweek series with a couple of in-state foes, Bethune-Cookman (and their new head coach), and Central Florida. Bethune is already off to another solid start, after taking 2 of 3 from Florida Gulf Coast. UCF had little trouble with Long Island, completing a 3 game sweep. Next up for the Gators? A good tune-up homestand against William &amp; Mary before traveling to Coral Gables for a big in-state brawl to kick off March. <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 2-0</strong></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br /> <br /><strong>Georgia:</strong> The Bulldogs had little trouble with Presbyterian and really don’t have any true test on the schedule until UCLA comes to Athens on March 9th. However, this is the same UCLA team that just dropped a series, at home, to Maryland. The Dawgs only have one midweek game (vs Georgia State): <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 1-0</strong></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br /> <br /><strong>Kentucky:</strong> The Wildcat offense really clicked this weekend. They scored 10 runs in their first 2 games and completed a weekend sweep at the USC-Upstate Tournament after dispatching the host school Spartans 6-0 yesterday. UK has no midweekers this week. <br /> <br /><strong>Carolina:</strong> It was touch and go for a while for the defending National Champions. 2 Close games against the visiting Keydets (2-1/3-2) but the bats came alive in the Friday finale as the Gamecocks exploded for a 13-1 victory. No Midweekers for USC this week either. <br /> <br /><strong>Tennessee:</strong> A good start for new Head Coach Dave Serrano. The Vols took care of Northern Illinois in convincing fashion. Big Orange has 1 midweek game this week: 2/21 against Western Kentucky. <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 1-0 <br /></strong> <br /><strong>LSU:</strong> The Bengals looked impressive. Only giving up 2 Earned Runs the entire weekend (vs AFA twice, vs Alcorn once). They will head into a midweek game against McNeese without having allowed a run in 19 consecutive innings. <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 1-0</strong></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br /> <br /><strong>Ole Miss</strong>: The Rebels got a great start from Bobby Wahl on Friday and managed to upset the homestanding Horned Frogs. Rain cancelled one of the games. Still, just getting one was a good vote of confidence for UM. Ole Miss plays their home opener today vs Arkansas State, the only midweek game for UM. <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 1-0</strong></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br /> <br /><strong>Mississippi State:</strong> The Bulldogs almost completed a solid sweep of Washington State, but the Cougars forced a Saturday extra-inning upset. No midweek games for the Maroons as they prep for the Starkville Tournament against Kansas and Mississippi Valley State. <br /> <br /></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><strong>Arkansas</strong>: Smooth sailing for the Hogs as they absolutely destroyed Villanova by a combined score of 41-7. Double Digit run production in every game. Two midweek games against Northwestern State before another likely sweep vs Valparaiso this weekend. <strong>AUPPL Prediction:</strong> <strong>2-0</strong> <br /></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br />Now we come to the teams that had absolutely horrible weekends. Vanderbilt and Alabama. Yes, Auburn losing a DH on Sunday was painful, but these losses by the Commodores and Tide were even worse. <br /> <br /><strong>Vanderbilt:</strong> The road trip to the Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto turned disastrous for VU. The Dores were outscored 35-13. Heralded Freshman Tyler Beede had a rough debut: 4.1 IP/9h/5er/1bb/2k/1hbp. Overall, Vandy pitchers hit 9 batters. Rough pitching start. The Dores have a midweek game against Oakland to get back on track before Oregon travels to Nashville. <strong>AUPPL Prediction: 1-0 <br /> <br />Alabama:</strong> Now, for the most shocking series of last weekend? Alabama. The Tide were swept by visiting Florida Atlantic and the Owl held UA’s bats in check for outputs of 2, 2, and 4 runs over the weekend. <a href="http://sebaseball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1333584">How shocking was it?</a> :</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> <br /> </p><blockquote><br /><b>Say It Ain't So Joe:</b> Alabama was swept by Florida Atlantic at the Joe this weekend ... It marked the first time in 113 years that Alabama has been swept in a three-game, non-conference home series ... The Texas Longhorns were the only other team to sweep Alabama at home, taking all three games on April 17-19, <i>1899</i> ... The Longhorns won 9-3, 10-1 and 4-3 ... Alabama is 0-3 for third time in school history and the first time since 1952 ... The Crimson Tide also started 0-3 in 1946. </blockquote> <br /> <br />Alabama tries to right the ship next weekend when Arkansas Pine Bluff comes to town. <br /><p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> </p><p> </p> <p></p> <p></p> <p> </p><p> </p><p> <br /> <br /> </p><h5>PREDICTION TRACKER: Only 3 incorrect picks made. Overall record: 29-3. Series Prediction Record: 9-2</h5><p></p><p></p><p></p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-77268113238482832822012-02-21T08:40:00.001-08:002012-02-21T08:40:06.264-08:00STAT of the Union: Week 1<p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> <p> <p> The Sample size is small, but we can already see how Auburn compares to the rest of the SEC stat-wise: <br /> <br /><iframe style="width: 358px; height: 563px" height="300" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ar0WkAs0eDO8dHZrUURTU0IyZGhVbDZIcUZZR0pRWWc&amp;output=html&amp;widget=true" frameborder="0" width="500"></iframe></p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />The small-ball philosophy has taken full affect for Auburn. The Tigers have yet to record a Home Run, but still have a respectable amount of hits, and doubles. There is patience there at the plate and with the approach. Only 11 Ks and middle of the pack in BBs (12). The only statistical category Auburn is leading in (offensively) all come from the run game. Only Tennessee seems to be just as aggressive and small-ball oriented as Auburn. </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Jay Gonzalez is currently tied with Tim Carver of Arkansas with 4 Stolen Bases. Blake Austin leads the SEC in Doubles (4). </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Derek Varnadore’s impressive performance on Friday has set him apart from the SEC Currently. He leads in IP (7), Strikeouts (11), Batters K Looking (6). Impressively Daniel Koger is next on that list with 4 Backwards Ks himself. <br /> <br />Fielding-Wise, Garrett Cooper continues to stand out. A perfect fielding percentage, 2nd most chances, 3rd most put-outs.</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p>&#160;</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <p> <br /> <br />Overall, it’s a good start stat-wise. Auburn isn’t really in the cellar in an category and there is obvious room for improvement. The hits are there, the chances are there, Auburn just needs to capitalize. </p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-27801516359208263752012-02-17T00:43:00.001-08:002012-02-17T00:43:08.508-08:00The 5 Most Important Series of the 2012 Season<p>&#160;</p> <p>It’s hard to peg what qualifies as a “crucial series” but just look at the schedule in 2012, some games just jump out and could be considered must-wins. Of course, all that could change as the season progresses and importance could be placed else where;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h2>1. Missouri</h2> <p>It’s the season opener and with a big roadtrip coming up the following weekend to Arizona, Auburn can’t really afford to start out in a 1-2 or even 0-3 hole. There is little room for error and Auburn will face a tough opener. With new faces in new roles, Auburn’s learning curve will be pretty steep. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <h2>2. Samford</h2> <p>I know it seems like Samford SHOULD be a win, but that’s the problem. In the past, Auburn has struggled with these midweek games. With Samford rising up the RPI and with its most talented team in years, a win over the Bulldogs would be crucial down the stretch. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <h2>3. Alabama</h2> <p>If just for the obvious reasons that it’s Alabama. This year, there’s an added bonus. Alabama and Auburn are in sort of the same boat preseason-wise. A series win would mean seperation and a leg up down the stretch.</p> <p>&#160;</p> <h2>4. Ole Miss </h2> <p>SEC Opener. On the Road. Plus, a dynamite Friday matchup between Derek Varnadore and Bobby Wahl. If Auburn can take this series, it will instill confidence down the stretch and definitely start the season off on the right foot. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <h2>5. Georgia</h2> <p>This series will come late in the year. Auburn needs revenge from last year’s Mother’s Day Meltdown. It could also either open the SEC wider or shut it for good. </p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-12448006690761341052012-02-17T00:20:00.001-08:002012-02-17T00:20:21.685-08:00Could Auburn add Men’s Soccer?<p>This comes up for debate or is thrown around every now and then. Could Auburn add another varsity sport? Well, if the funds are there, sure. More than that though, you would need to weigh some key factors and components. The main factor being Title IX from the NCAA <a href="http://www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/ncaahome?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/ncaa/NCAA/About+The+NCAA/Diversity+and+Inclusion/Gender+Equity+and+Title+IX/faq.html">which states</a>:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Q. How is Title IX applied to athletics? </strong></p> <p>Athletics programs are considered educational programs and activities. There are three basic parts of Title IX as it applies to athletics: </p> <ol> <li>Participation: Title IX requires that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. Title IX does not require institutions to offer identical sports but an equal opportunity to play;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </li> <li>Scholarships: Title IX requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation; and&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </li> <li>Other benefits: Title IX requires the equal treatment of female and male student-athletes in the provisions of: (a) equipment and supplies; (b) scheduling of games and practice times; (c) travel and daily allowance/per diem; (d) access to tutoring; (e) coaching, (f) locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; (g) medical and training facilities and services; (h) housing and dining facilities and services; (i) publicity and promotions; (j) support services and (k) recruitment of student-athletes. </li> </ol> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Basically, you have to have an equal number of men's and women's athletic scholarships. With College Football taking up or adding 85 schollys, you have more women’s sports to equal that amount. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>You need competition around you to play so we’ll see how many teams exist in Auburn’s border states (FL/TN/MS/GA). We’ll even throw in Louisiana and South Carolina for extra help. In theory you’d want at least 5 or 6 schools within that distance to keep travel restrictions down. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Men’s Soccer</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Scholarships Required: 9.9</p> <p>Competition: Alabama A&amp;M, Centenary, Clemson, Charleston, ETSU, FAU, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, GA Southern, Georgia State, Jacksonville, SC Upstate, Presbyterian, North Florida, Memphis, South Carolina, USF, UAB, UCF, Belmont, Mercer, FIU</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Really, Auburn’s best chance for success in Men’s Soccer would be to join Conference USA like Kentucky and South Carolina have (men’s soccer only members). It would give the Tigers an in-state rival (UAB) and keep the travel restrictions down. One thing I wouldn’t recommend? Going independent. That hasn’t worked out so well for <a href="http://aamusports.com/news/2010/11/2/MSOC_1102104955.aspx?path=msoc">Alabama A&amp;M</a>:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>The Alabama A&amp;M men’s soccer team will play its final contest, Wednesday, when they take on the Tigers of the University of Memphis at 6 p.m. at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.</p> <p>The Bulldogs enter the match at 0-10-0 in 2010. The Division I independent program is on the verge of extinction, with rumors swirling that the program is in its final year of competition in collegiate athletics.</p> <p>It hasn’t been a happy year for Maroon &amp; White, who have been outscored 59-7 in its 10 matches so far this season.</p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Soccer is probably the only men’s sport that Auburn could feasibly add. Lacrosse is a hot sport, but no one really plays it in-state and the closest competition is Mercer. Wrestling has history at Auburn, but has moved into a more Midwestern base. If Auburn was to try and add Men’s soccer, they would need a female counter sport. Sadly the doesn’t really exist. Maybe Bowling? However, that’s only 5 scholarships. There aren’t many other women’s sports left that could get female students to Auburn AND have enough scholarships to justify men’s soccer. For now? It’s just a hopeful dream. </p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-9094715640836526012012-02-16T23:29:00.001-08:002012-02-16T23:29:31.236-08:00Tiger Taxonomy: Damek Tomscha<p>&#160;</p> <p><img style="margin: 5px" src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL%202012/4c47a64936439image.jpg" width="382" height="334" /></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <li>Class: Incoming Junior</li> <li>Hometown: Sioux City, IA</li> <li>Previously: Iowa Western CC</li> <li>H/W: 6'4/ 225lbs </li> <li>B/T: R/R </li> <li>Position: RHP/IF</li> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>A unique name and a unique talent. Tomscha is one the top JUCO Prospects in America. He’s already been drafted twice (once by the Phillies in 2010 and last year by the Marlins). He’s a combination RHP/SS/3B that brings a great offensive approach to the plate. He was the Gatorade Iowa player of the year coming out of <a href="http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/sports/high-school/baseball/article_e7cdc8df-f209-5073-97fd-1ba27f1fab0e.html">High School</a>: </p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>The 6-foot-3 Tomscha led the Stars to a 36-7 record and the Iowa Class 4A state championship last season, the first in school history. Tomscha batted .456 with 11 home runs, 48 RBIs, 52 hits and an .897 slugging percentage. A 2009 all-state Super Team selection and Louisville Slugger preseason All-American, Tomscha batted .667 with nine runs scored and six RBIs in three state tournament games. </p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>You will hear the term “sleeper” thrown around a lot when it comes to Tomscha. Drafted twice, you can see how he’s slowly climbed up the radar of <a href="http://baseballdraftreport.com/tag/damek-tomscha/">MLB Scouts</a>:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Tomscha is a deep sleeper who has plenty of fans within the scouting community. I’m not a member of said community, but count me in as a fan all the same. As a high school guy without high school ball in Iowa, Tomscha’s upside was severely underrated this spring. He’s a really good athlete with a pretty swing, plus arm, and good raw defensive tools. My high pre-draft ranking was probably a bit of overcompensating for his lack of national love on my end, but it should definitely be noted that this your typical 50th round flier. Tomscha’s legit.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong></strong></p> <p>So what do those same scouts say about <a href="http://soflamarlins.com/showthread.php?t=4051">Tomscha</a>?</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p><b>Damek Tomscha is a 2010 3B/SS with a <b>6'2'', 200 lb</b>. frame from Sioux City, IA who attends Sioux City North HS. Square shouldered build, good present strength. <b>Outstanding arm strength at 3B, good athletic actions, needs improvement on footwork/balance, 6.93 runner</b>. Very good raw bat speed, calm balanced stance, lacks ideal hitting rhythm now, line drive swing plane, ball jumps off bat well. Also pitched, different arm stroke than at 3B, upper 80's fastball, some sharpness to slider. Very interesting unrecognized talent with a high ceiling. Signed with Iowa Western CC </b></p> </blockquote> <p><strong></strong></p> <p>So how did a kid from Iowa end up at Auburn? <a href="http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/sports/baseball/college/article_5fde795e-7fe6-5c57-84e1-36c61bf0d34b.html">Weather and Competition</a> mostly:</p> <p> <br /></p> <blockquote> <p>&quot;The biggest thing was that the SEC is the best baseball conference in the country,&quot; said Tomscha, who led North to its first Class 4A state title as a junior. &quot;I like the warm weather and coaches, too. They have told me I will have an opportunity to play third base right away and maybe pitch a little, too.&quot;</p> <p>…</p> <p>&quot;The past two years, they have had 18 guys drafted, so that was one of the reasons they were down a little last year,&quot; said Tomscha.</p> <p>Tomscha had offers from Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Western Kentucky and Florida International. He visited Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Florida International before making a visit to Auburn last week.</p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Oh and hey, we actually have VIDEO of Damek:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="157" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2eWZst0b0g4" frameborder="0" width="250" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p><iframe height="157" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QPt_AtWyqQM" frameborder="0" width="250" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Looks pretty good. </p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-91412898194295406462012-02-16T22:59:00.001-08:002012-02-16T22:59:12.220-08:00College Baseball and the MLB CBA<p>One storyline for the 2012 Season will be how Major League Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will affect College Baseball. Before, fans and coaches would anxiously wait the MLB Draft and watch as one by one their top recruits are enticed by the lure and dollars of professional baseball. College Baseball is weird when it comes to its pro brother. Unlike Football where the 3 years in College time is seen as needed for development or the NBA which has to now put caps on when a player can turn pro, baseball is a waiting game. Very rarely does a player get drafted and have an immediate impact. At best? They spend 2 to 4 years in the Minor League getting adjusted. Rarely do guys come straight from the draft to the pros. In fact, only one comes to mind, Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds. So, in college baseball, teams used to have to consitently deal with teams overpaying for players (above slot is term thrown around) and guys will normally take the money and go pro instead of enrolling. Now, things <a href="http://www.perfectgame.org/articles/View.aspx?article=6395">are a bit different</a>. </p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>“The release of the new CBA, no doubt, was a big day for college baseball,” an agent said. “I absolutely think college coaches benefit a great deal. The new CBA ends the confusion of trying to figure out if a player is showing up to campus in August. In turn, MLB teams will be forced to pick their spots in the draft a little better. I think the new CBA definitely will lead to more kids deciding to go to college.”</p> <p>There are other pieces to the CBA college coaches love, such as the new draft tax, which we’ll get to later. But the new signing deadline is music to the ears of several coaches, especially Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan and LSU’s Paul Mainieri, both head coaches of programs that recruit a huge crop of highly-drafted prospects each year.</p> <p>Mainieri is extremely pleased with the new signing deadline. Two summers ago, he and the Tigers were left at the alter at the signing deadline by talented prospects such as Zach Lee and Garin Cecchini. Meanwhile, right-hander Kevin Gausman opted to attend LSU despite some intense moments leading up to the deadline.</p> <p>“Any signing deadline that was pushed earlier than where it was would be looked upon favorably by all college coaches. I wish they would’ve gone all the way up to July 1, but it’s better than August 15,” Mainieri said. “The old rules just put college coaches in such a difficult position leading up to the deadline. This gives coaches a much better idea of what they’re working with when the fall semester begins.”</p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>So what changes? In a nutshell, you can now think of the 10th round of the MLB draft as a cut off point for college baseball. Anything above and these guys will get big money thrown their way. Anything below? The player might be better off enrolling in college. There are now penalties and caps puts into place that will prevent teams from overspending and most MLB clubs would rather use the money they have on their upper round picks. The other big change? <a href="http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p/29959334/New-MLB-CBA-helps-College-Baseball.aspx">The signing deadline</a>:</p> <p>&#160;</p> <blockquote> <p>The Draft signing deadline will move from August 15 to between July 12 and July 18, depending on which day the MLB All-Star Game is. This will allow college teams to better manage their scholarship percentages and rosters. High picks normally wait until the last second to sign, so this just takes out some of the dead time that is far from necessary. It will also give Division I schools an opportunity to purge junior colleges to replace any players that sign professional contracts. </p> </blockquote> <p>&#160;</p> <p>With three guys (and probably more) in the incoming Auburn recruiting class that will be drafted fairly high, the Tigers will have to keep a close eye on the draft, the round, and hope (fingers crossed) that the majority of this incoming class will stay intact. </p> kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-75327122804488139242012-02-16T19:22:00.002-08:002012-02-16T19:25:36.778-08:00A Mini Auburn Baseball Bucket List<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Auburn baseball games are a special event. My love for them is already pretty well documented. Even though it’s hard to narrow it down; I think there are 5 things that every Auburn baseball fan should do at least once this season. <!--?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /--><o:p></o:p></span></p> <h1 style="MARGIN: 24pt 0in 0pt"><span style="color: rgb(54, 95, 145); " >1. Buy a scorecard from Mr. Campbell (or a Diamond Doll)</span></h1> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Scorecards are one of the lost arts of baseball. They are personal, functional, and practical. Say a buddy of yours went up for a soda and comes back. First thing he asks? “What did I miss?” Well, with the scorecard you can tell him exactly what he missed. Plus, it will keep you engaged in the game. Don’t let this happen to you:<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></p> <h1 style="MARGIN: 24pt 0in 0pt"><span style="color: rgb(54, 95, 145); "><span > 2. Catch a game from the Upper Parking Deck</span></span></h1> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">It’s a pretty sweet set up. Park your vehicle. Watch a game. Chill Out. It’s a unique way to watch an Auburn game, if just for a couple of minutes or more. Personally, I have to be a bit closer to the action but for the younger crowd, the Upper Parking Deck seems ideal.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <h1 style="MARGIN: 24pt 0in 0pt"><span style="font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(54, 95, 145); "><span >3. Join the <a href="http://www.auburndiamondclub.com/">Diamond Club</a></span></span></h1><div><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Cambria; COLOR: #365f91; FONT-SIZE: 1.2em"><br /></span></div> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Now, this is something I’ve put off for way to long. Thankfully, and thanks to my brother’s awesome Christmas present, I’m now a member of the AUDC. Check them out and ask a member what they are about.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <h1 style="MARGIN: 24pt 0in 0pt"><span style="color: rgb(54, 95, 145); "><span> <h1> </h1><h1 style="margin-top: 24pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; "><span >4. Say Hey to the <span style="line-height: 115%; "><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255); "><a href="http://family.auburn.edu/profiles/blogs/getting-involved-diamond-dolls">Diamond Dolls</a></span></span></span></h1><h1 style="margin-top: 24pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; "><span style="line-height: 115%; "><br /></span></h1></span></span></h1><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"></span></o:p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Probably the most enthusiastic group of fans, made up of students, and they do more than just cheer at the games. They’re involved in philanthrophy, spirit, and comraderie. So what do they do? Let’s let one of them explain:<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></p> <blockquote> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Katie Campbell is a junior from Auburn, AL, majoring in communication. When Katie graduates she would like to pursue a career in sports marketing or sports event planning. “Being a Diamond Doll provides me with a snapshot from behind the scenes of what a baseball program is like,” Katie explains. She goes on to tell that her interest in baseball began when she was young. Her brother played baseball for years and therefore, it was something she grew up around. In high school, she served as a Diamond Doll, which made her love for baseball grow even more. <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 10pt; margin-left: 0in; " class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 10pt; margin-left: 0in; " class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Katie has been involved with Auburn’s Diamond Dolls for two years and is actually the graphic designer for Diamond Dolls. “I am in charge of ordering all of our uniforms, and designing t-shirts for our organization. On top of my officer duties, I also help out in the coach’s office when needed, decorate the locker rooms, assist in helping with marketing promotions throughout the game, and of course offer support to our team throughout the season,” Katie says. She explains that through this experience, she has learned time management skills, which has helped her in many aspects of her life.<o:p></o:p></span></p></blockquote> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span ><b><span style="font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(54, 95, 145); ">5. Skip a Sunday game and go catch the </span><a href="http://www.miraclefield.org/started.html"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; "><span style="COLOR: #0000ff">Opelika Miracle League</span></span></a><span style="font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(54, 95, 145); ">. </span></b></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="COLOR: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">I would recommend an away game, obviously, but the Miracle League is a wonderful organization to lend and afternoon helping. How can you help? Just by coming out and cheering. Check them out<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="COLOR: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="COLOR: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri">Any other recommendations? Leave them in the comments.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="COLOR: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="COLOR: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Calibri"> </span></o:p></p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-36676247479988802622012-02-16T18:11:00.000-08:002012-02-16T18:12:07.598-08:00The Varnasaur<p>Sometimes inspiration hits in some of the most unexpected places. Such as a typo on the <a href="http://auburn.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?SID=884&amp;fid=423&amp;mid=153157756&amp;tid=153129292">AuburnSports.com</a> message board:</p> <p><img style="DISPLAY: inline" src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL%202012/Varnasore.jpg" width="493" height="236" /></p> <p>Varnasore you say? Such as maybe a cross between Derek Varnadore and Carnosaur, the terribly awful <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106521/">Roger Corman</a> movie about a genetically altered and very hungry dinosaur who reeks havoc on a local desert town? Hmmmm. Well, Varnadore does have a sort of "saurian" delivery. Perhaps we should commemorate this inspirational blessing? But, how? Oh yes, like this:</p> <p><img style="WIDTH: 499px; DISPLAY: inline; HEIGHT: 339px" src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL%202012/Varnasaur.png" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <p>I dig it. Well, let's take it a step forward. How about Plainsman Park: Where Opposing Hitters Go Extinct? Yeah, that's the ticket.</p> <p><img style="WIDTH: 494px; DISPLAY: inline; HEIGHT: 363px" src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL%202012/PlainsmanPark.png" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <p>Now if only we could get Derek Varnadore to change his introduction music to the great 80s Hit by Was (Not Was), "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_the_Dinosaur">Walk the Dinosaur</a>". One can only dream.</p> <p><iframe height="233" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zYKupOsaJmk" frameborder="0" width="300"></iframe></p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-8521950111013426562012-02-16T17:18:00.001-08:002012-02-16T17:18:41.587-08:00Twitter and the Tigers<p>Twitter is a great way to follow college baseball. It's a tool I use to stay connected, interact, and update fans during the game. (Psst...follow here: <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/auppl">@AUPPL</a>). If you do follow, you can easily tell what is going on during the Auburn baseball games, as long as you know how to read a box score or <a href="http://www.auppl.com/2011/03/play-by-play-140-characters-at-time.html">score card</a>.</p><br /><p>Twitter is also a way to hear back from other Auburn fans and get their reaction/thoughts on a "Tweet of the Week" that I try to throw out every Tuesday. Such as this past Tuesday's "What Auburn Baseball Series are you Most Looking Forward To". I got a couple of good responses such as:</p><br /><p style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px" dir="ltr"> </p><br /><blockquote><br /><p><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; FONT-FAMILY: HelveticaNeue, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 15px" class="Apple-style-span"><strong style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 10px 0px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; DISPLAY: block; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 18px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; FONT-WEIGHT: bold; PADDING-TOP: 0px" class="fullname js-action-profile-name"><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; FONT-FAMILY: HelveticaNeue, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 15px" class="Apple-style-span"><a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(237,136,12); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><span style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-SIZE: 14px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px" class="username js-action-profile-name"><strong>@AUDiamondDolls</strong></span></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(237,136,12); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><strong>: <span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 28px; FONT-FAMILY: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 22px" class="Apple-style-span">all of them!!!</span></span></strong></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(0,132,180); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/MaggieMcDee" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><span style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-SIZE: 14px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" class="username js-action-profile-name"><strong>@MaggieMcDee</strong></span></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(0,132,180); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/MaggieMcDee" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><strong>:</strong></a> <strong><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 28px; FONT-FAMILY: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 22px" class="Apple-style-span">The Missouri series because it's opening weekend!</span></span></strong></span></span></strong></span></span> <span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; FONT-FAMILY: HelveticaNeue, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 15px" class="Apple-style-span"><a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(0,132,180); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/joshdub23" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><span style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-SIZE: 14px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" class="username js-action-profile-name"><strong>@joshdub23</strong></span></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(237,136,12); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link">: <span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 28px; FONT-FAMILY: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 22px" class="Apple-style-span">Mizzou! First of the season</span></span></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(0,132,180); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/jaredm2012" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link"><span style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(153,153,153); FONT-SIZE: 14px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" class="username js-action-profile-name">@<strong>jaredm2012</strong></span></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(237,136,12); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link">:</a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(0,132,180); FONT-SIZE: 22px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/search?q=#LSU" class=" twitter-hashtag pretty-link" rel="nofollow" title="#LSU"><del>#</del> <strong>LSU</strong></a> <a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; OUTLINE-WIDTH: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; COLOR: rgb(237,136,12); FONT-SIZE: 15px; VERTICAL-ALIGN: baseline; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 0px" href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls" class="account-group js-account-group js-action-profile js-user-profile-link">3/23-25</a></span></span></p><br /></blockquote><br /><p>See? Fun. Exciting. Interactive.I'll try to keep this up during the season</p><br /><p>Of course, I'm not the only one on twitter. I'd recommend a follow to the <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUDiamondDolls">Auburn Diamond Dolls</a> and the Official <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUTigerBaseball">Auburn Tiger Baseball Feed</a>. There are also a few Auburn players on Twitter. Now, I'm not going to list all of the current (and some former) players that I could find on Twitter because I don't follow every single one of them. However, if you are so inclined and want to know, you could just check out who the <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/AUTigerBaseball/following">Official Twitter follows</a>. You'll find the majority of them there. Now, a lot of guys use their Twitter for their own personal business. They have locked accounts for a reason. Keep that in mind and realize that some (if not many) of these are private accounts for a reason. Please respect that. Don't be a butt on twitter to the players.</p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8445483750969891888.post-70066138559519909072012-02-16T16:02:00.002-08:002012-02-16T16:03:05.029-08:00Tiger Taxonomy: Matt Schultz<p><img src="http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj116/cfbsigs/AUPPL%202012/346435.jpg" style="DISPLAY: inline" height="360" width="250" /></p><br /><ul><br /><li>Class: Incoming Freshman</li><li>Hometown: Plainfield, IL</li><li>Previously: Oswego East High School</li><li>H/W: 6'2/ 200lbs</li><li>B/T: R/R</li><li>Position: RHP</li><br /></ul><br /><p>Schultz makes up part of Auburn's highly anticipated <a href="http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/021412aab.html">2012 Signing Class</a>. A powerful RHP from Illinois, Schultz shows that Coach Pawlowski and his staff aren't afraid of recruiting outside the Southeast. He's a Perfect Game prospect from the Chicago area who is already topping 93 on his fastball. PG had this to say in his <a href="http://www.perfectgame.org/Players/Playerprofile.aspx?ID=299514">profile</a>:</p><br /><blockquote style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px" dir="ltr"><br /><p><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Helvetica, arial; FONT-SIZE: 11px" class="Apple-style-span">Chicago Land RHP Popped Up with 92 Velo at Area Codes Before Popping a 93 at Jupiter. Strong, Sturdy Build Arm Works Very Well.</span></span></p><br /></blockquote><br /><p>Pretty impressive and pretty solid for Auburn to get a player who's competed in the prestigious area code games. That 93 mph? That's coming after he had Tommy John surgery going into his <a href="http://www.ledgersentinel.com/article.asp?a=9596">junior year</a>:</p><br /><blockquote><br /><p><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: small; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 3px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 3px" class="Apple-style-span">"He threw 50 pitches and it was probably the most effective 50 pitches I've ever seen," Vera said. "I think (the injury) helped him in two ways. No. 1, I think it helps him see the difference between pitching and throwing. When you're dealing with a kid as talented as Matt, he's probably for most of his life been able to just get by with throwing the ball by guys and just overmatching guys. I also think it's helped him basically appreciate the effectiveness of his pitching, whereas in the past he could get by with going deep into counts because he knew he could come back into counts and strike them out."<br /><br /></span></span></p><br /></blockquote><br /><p>I would recommend checking out that entire story from The Ledger Sentinel. It is a bit dated, but it serves as caution for overusing high school arms so soon. Schultz is a pitcher reborn and a guy who almost had his entire future taken away from him.</p><br /><p>So how did an Illinois kid come home to the Plains? He wasn't that highly recruited for a while and many colleges were coming to see his travel ball teammate Bret Lilek (Arizona State commit) instead of him. Still, Schultz turned heads and Auburn won <a href="http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/sports/7836171-419/oswego-east-pitcher-matt-schultz-commits-to-auburn.html">him over</a>:</p><br /><blockquote><br /><p><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; COLOR: rgb(61,60,60); FONT-SIZE: 13px" class="Apple-style-span">"I fell in love with it when I went down there," Schultz said of his trip to Alabama. "It's really hot down there, so right off the get-go it's good weather for a pitcher. I didn't throw that much this spring due to the cold weather, so the heat is a huge factor. It's a really nice campus and all the people down there are like the nicest person you ever met in your life. It's more like a family. All the athletes are like a family. That's what they try to achieve. I liked the atmosphere, a nice campus, they have an amazing facility."</span></span></span></p><br /></blockquote><br /><p>The MLB could come calling but he might have a better chance at Auburn as scouts might shy away from his arm history and not take a risk given the new CBA. Auburn can't do anything to change that. For now it's good to know Schultz has his Auburn priorities <a href="http://oswego.patch.com/articles/q-a-talking-with-matt-schultz-about-signing-with-auburn">in order</a>:</p><br /><blockquote><br /><p><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="WIDOWS: 2; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-INDENT: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: separate; FONT: medium 'Times New Roman'; WHITE-SPACE: normal; ORPHANS: 2; LETTER-SPACING: normal; COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); WORD-SPACING: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 20px; FONT-FAMILY: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; COLOR: rgb(51,51,51); FONT-SIZE: 14px" class="Apple-style-span">Every kid dreams of playing professional baseball and I'm no different. I have established a plan to attend Auburn, pursue my college degree and continue to develop my pitching talents under a great coaching staff. I am very excited about the future at Auburn University and the opportunity they have given me. I want to help them beat 'Bama!!! However, if the opportunity to play in the MLB presents itself, I would evaluate all factors and consider it a great honor, and accomplishment, to be entered into the draft.</span></span></span></p><br /></blockquote><br /><p>War Eagle and Welcome Matt.</p>kevin0iveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07943624796916466627noreply@blogger.com0" ["response"]=> array(2) { ["code"]=> int(200) ["message"]=> string(2) "OK" } ["cookies"]=> array(0) { } ["filename"]=> NULL ["http_response"]=> object(WP_HTTP_Requests_Response)#64029 (5) { ["response":protected]=> object(Requests_Response)#64032 (10) { ["body"]=> string(248399) "